The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) warned Monday that global warming is spurring the melting rate of glaciers in the Himalayan region, and will cause water shortage for people in China, India and Nepal.
The WWF said in a new report that the glaciers are now retreating at an average rate of 10 to 15 meters per year.
It "will first increase the volume of water in rivers, causing widespread flooding," said Jennifer Morgan, director of the WWF's Global Climate Change Program, in a statement.
"But in a few decades, this situation will change and the water level in rivers will decline, meaning massive economic and environmental problems for people in western China, Nepal and northern India," she added.
As water flows from the glaciers dwindle, the energy potential of hydroelectric power will decrease, causing problems for industry. Crop yields will also be affected due to reduced irrigation.
The report came just before two meetings on climate change on March 15-18 in London. One is a ministerial roundtable of 20 largest energy using economies in the world, and the other is a G8 meeting of development and environment ministers.
The WWF called on the participants in a letter to recognize climate change as a serious threat to security and development.
(Xinhua News Agency March 14, 2005)